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Letters of Socrates and of the Socratics

(534 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] Transmitted in nine MSS from the period 1269/70 to the beginning of the 17th cent. are seven letters of Socrates [2] and 20 of the Socratics in various arrangements, some complete, some in selections (epist. 1-27, numbering according to Köhler [5]), and in addition six letters from and to Speusippus (epist. 28; 30-34), a letter from Plato to the Macedonian king Philippus [4] II. (epist. 29), and a final letter written in the Doric dialect riddled with corruptions, with unknown s…

Chaerephon

(141 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Χαιρεφών; Chairephṓn). From the Attic deme of Sphettus; from early youth a passionate follower of  Socrates. In Aristophanes' Clouds, Wasps and Birds C. is lampooned as an especially zealous and ascetic pupil of Socrates. As a committed democrat, he lived in exile during the tyranny of the  Thirty (404-403 BC) (Pl.…

Phaedo

(287 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Φαίδων; Phaídon) from Elis, b. 418/416 BC, date of death unknown. Title character of the Platonic dialogue Phaídōn. P. is believed to have been taken prisoner when the city of Elis was conquered, sold as a slave to Athens and forced to work in a brothel. After meeting Socrates, the philosopher apparently had one of his pupils buy P.'s freedom, and from then on P. devoted himself to philosophy (Diog. Laert. 2,31; 2,105 et passim). P. wrote two dialogues, titled Zṓpyros and Símōn. It is probably true that the story of Socrates' meeting with the magician Zopyrus, who was well versed in physiognomy, was derive…

Megarian School

(346 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Μεγαρικοί; Megarikoí). This word designates those philosophers belonging to the tradition of Socrates' pupil Euclides [2], whose home town was Megara. How much they had in common, beyond being pupils of Euclides, is hard to say. It seems there was neither an institutional organisation connecting them, nor a fixed place of teaching. Only Euclides and Stilpo are known to have lived in Megara. Other members of the School lived and worked in other places, at least temporarily ( Eubuli…

Stilpo

(448 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Στίλπων/ Stílpōn) from Megara (Megarian School); second half of the 4th and first third of the 3rd cent. BC. Since the information about his teachers is confusing, it remains unclear how S. fits into the sequence of Megarians. His character is repeatedly praised in the surviving sources. Emphasis is placed on his simple unaffected nature and his open confident manner in dealings with others; numerous anecdotes document his ready wit and his superior sense of humour. His skill at disputation is said to have fasc…

Paraebates

(41 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Παραιβάτης/ Paraibátēs). Cyrenaic who lived towards the end of the 4th cent. BC. Teacher of Anniceris, Hegesias [1] and Menedemus [5] of Eretria who is said to later have despised him (Diog. Laert. 2,86; 2,134). Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)

Bryson

(208 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Βρύσων; Brýsōn). Son of the mythographer  Herodorus from Heraclea Pontica, of the  Megarian school (his connection with  Euclides unclear), teacher of  Pyrrhon; born  c. 400 BC, died after 340 BC. B. advocated the thesis that nobody uses distasteful -- i.e. vulgar or indecent -- expressions; if one and the same thing could be described by a variety of expressions, then all of these should carry the same meaning; therefore one term could not be more vulgar or indecent than any other. Aristotle rejected …

Sophroniscus

(62 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Σωφρονίσκος; Sōphronískos). Husband of Phaenarete with whom he fathered Socrates [2] the philosopher, stone cutter by trade. In Plato's Laches (180e), Lysimachus [1] praises S. as his true late friend with whom he had never quarreled. Nothing more is known about S. Socrates named one of his three sons after his father, as was customary. Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)

Cyrenaics

(1,267 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
(Κυρηναϊκοί; Kyrēnaïkoí). [German version] A. History The term Cyrenaics ─ derived from the home town Cyrene of Socrates' pupil  Aristippus [3] ─ is used to describe those philosophers who subscribed to the tradition founded by the latter. A list of C. can be found in Diog. Laert. 2,86. Whenever ancient texts refer globally to Aristippus and the C., the topic is almost invariably that they considered  pleasure ( hēdonḗ) the supreme good ( summum bonum) and highest aim ( télos). In the development of this view (and of the philosophy of the C. in general), two phases can be …

Anniceris

(235 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Ἀννίκερις; Anníkeris) of Cyrene, one of the  Cyrenaics, whose life spanned the decades before and after 300 BC. A. introduced modifications to the original Cyrenaic theory of pleasure (presumably following his analysis of Epicurus). Because of these modifications, many ancient philosophers regard his theory as the beginning of a new phase in the history of the Cyrenaics (Str. 17,3,22; Diog. Laert. 2,85). A.'s innovation consists mainly in acknowledging not only sensual pleasure, b…

Anchipylus

(61 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Ἀνχίπυλος; Anchípylos) of Elis. He was a student of  Phaedo of Elis, together with  Moschus. A. himself was the teacher of  Asclepiades of Phleious and of  Menedemus of Eretria. According to ancient hearsay, A. and Moschus subsisted on figs and water alone for their entire lives (Diog. Laert. 2,126; Ath. 2,44c). Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) Bibliography SSR III D.…

Cynicism

(1,753 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) [German version] A. The Middle Ages (CT) The reception of Cynicism in the Middle Ages and in modern times is, with few exceptions, simply the reception of Diogenes. The most important source for the knowledge of Diogenes in the Middle Ages was the brief description given of Diogenes' lifestyle by the Church Father Jerome in his work Adversus Jovinianum (2, 14). Jerome summarizes what makes Diogenes into a model for him in the statement tha…

Socratics

(1,010 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] The term 'Socratics' refers in a broad sense to all of those who, according to surviving evidence, had a close relationship to Socrates [2] (469-399 BC). In a narrower sense, it is limited to those known to have written philosophical works: Aeschines [1], Antisthenes [1], Aristippus [3], Euclides [2], Phaedo, Plato [1] and Xenophon. Ancient sources tell us a great deal about the personal relationships of these Socratics, both with Socrates and among themselves. Some is evidently b…

Panthoedes

(39 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Πανθοίδης/ Panthoídēs). Dialectician, c. 280 BC, teacher of the Peripatetic Lycon [4], author of a piece On Amphibologies (Diog. Laert. 5,68; 7,193). P. contested the conclusiveness of Diodorus's [4] "Master Argument" (Epict. Dissertationes 2,19,5). Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)

Cebes

(238 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[German version] (Κέβης; Kébēs) from Thebes. Friend of Socrates (Pl. Crit. 45b; Xen. Mem. 1,2,48; 3,11,17); together with his companion Simmias  Socrates' main interlocutor in Plato's ‘Phaedon’. According to Pl. Phd. 61d-e, before coming to Athens C. met the Pythagorean  Philolaus in Thebes, but was himself not a Pythagorean [1]. In Diog. Laert. 2,125 three dialogues (not extant), with the titles Pínax (‘Painting), Hebdómē (‘The Seventh Day) and Phrýnichos, are attributed to C. The dialogue entitled Pínax and falsely attributed to C. was probably written during the 1st …

Maieutik

(153 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[English version] von griech. μαιευτική ( maieutikḗ, sc. téchnē), “Hebammenkunst”. In Platons Dialog Theaítētos (148e-151d) vergleicht Sokrates sein Vermögen, bei anderen zu erkennen, ob in ihnen verborgenes Wissen schlummert, und ihnen ggf. dabei behilflich zu sein, es zutage zu fördern, mit der Kunst seiner Mutter, der Hebamme ( maía) Phainarete, und der Hebammen insgesamt, Schwangerschaften zu erkennen und Geburtshilfe zu leisten. Ob schon der histor. Sokrates diesen Vergleich benutzte, ist umstritten, die stärkeren Gründe sprechen jedoch …

Bryson

(185 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[English version] (Βρύσων). Sohn des Mythographen Herodoros aus Herakleia am Pontos, Megariker (Beziehung zu Eukleides unklar), Lehrer Pyrrhons; * um 400 v.Chr., gest. nach 340. B. vertrat die These, niemand gebrauche häßliche, d.h. ordinäre oder unanständige Ausdrücke; könne man eine und dieselbe Sache mit verschiedenen Ausdrücken bezeichnen, dann seien diese bedeutungsgleich und es könne mithin nicht einer ordinärer bzw. dezenter als der andere sein. Aristoteles weist diese These als falsch zurü…

Xanthippe

(267 words)

Author(s): Antoni, Silke | Döring, Klaus
(Ξανθίππη). [English version] [1] Tochter des Doros Tochter des Doros, von Pleuron Mutter des Agenor [3], der Sterope, Stratonike und Laophonte (Apollod. 1,58). Antoni, Silke [English version] [2] myth. Nährerin ihres gefangenen Vaters Mykon Frau, die ihren im Gefängnis sitzenden Vater Mykon mit ihrer Milch ernährt (Hyg. fab. 254; dasselbe Motiv mit unterschiedlichen Namen: Val. Max. 5,4, ext. 1; Plin. nat. 7,121; Fest. 228,28-32; Solin. 1,124 f.; Nonn. Dion. 26,101-145). Antoni, Silke [English version] [3] Frau des Philosophen Sokrates [2] Frau des Philosophen Sokrates […

Chairephon

(151 words)

Author(s): Döring, Klaus (Bamberg)
[English version] (Χαιρεφών). Aus dem att. Demos Sphettos; seit früher Jugend ein leidenschaftlicher Anhänger des Sokrates. In den Wolken, den Wespen und den Vögeln des Aristophanes wird Ch. als bes. beflissener und asketischer Schüler des Sokrates verulkt. Als engagierter Demokrat hielt er sich während der Gewaltherrschaft der Dreißig (404-403 v.Chr.) im Exil auf (Plat. apol. 21a). Zur Zeit des Sokratesprozesses (399 v.Chr.) war Ch. schon tot. Platon (apol. 20e-21aPlat. apol. 20e-21a) und Xenophon (apol. 14Xen. apol.…
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